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Dave Matthews 12-08-2012 05:00 PM

smoker k1200rs
I bought a 2003 k1200rs about a year ago that was a salvage bike. It had 7200 miles and ran perfect, but smoked a little when first started. It wasn't a problem because after a few minutes it stoped. I changed the oil to mobil 1 and noticed it got a lot worse as time went by. Now a few hundred miles later it takes about 10 minutes to clear up and maybe then still smoking for miles. Can it be the oil. I remember having a 1965 2002 bmw and did the same, changed the oil and it started to smoke. Any suggestions? Appreciate any help. Thank you Dave

BeemerMikeTX 12-11-2012 09:20 AM

Dave -

Although the smoking could be caused by the usual reasons of worn rings or worn valve guides, this seems unlikely on a low-mileage engine. The cause is more likely "normal vehicle operation". On the "classic K" engines, which sit horizontal in the frame with the cylinder head on the LEFT side, when you park the bike on the sidestand, the cylinder head is LOWER than the crankcase. It is a very common issue with these classic K's that sometimes a little oil leaks past the rings when the bike is parked on the sidestand, and when the engine is started it smokes for a little while until the oil is burned off. My K75S does this periodically. Not all K-bikes do this to the same degree. Converting to Mobil 1 could tend to make the issue worse because it would leak past the rings easier.

Try parking the bike on the centerstand for awhile and see if the start-up smoking goes away, or is reduced. This will be an indication of the common start-up smoking. If this is what you have, there is not much you can easily/cheaply do other than park the bike on the centerstand. Also, have someone follow you when you are riding, and once the start-up smoking goes away have them watch for smoking when you accelerate and engine brake, but not when you are cruising at constant throttle, which will be an indication of worn rings or valve guides.

- Mike

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